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AOC president plays down need for 80,000-seat stadium in Queensland

Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) president John Coates has insisted that Queensland will not require a new 80,000-seat stadium if it is to host the summer Olympic Games in 2032.

Earlier this week, officials involved with Queensland’s potential bid visited the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland, where IOC president Thomas Bach praised the proposal.

Coates, himself a former vice-president of the IOC, feels a smaller stadium in Brisbane would fit the bill to host the opening and closing ceremonies of the Games.

The National Stadium currently being built in Tokyo for next year’s Games will have a capacity of 68,000, although it will be able to hold 80,000 with temporary seating. London Stadium, built for the English capital’s staging of the Olympics in 2012, has a regulated capacity of 60,000 but this was able to reach 80,000 during the Games themselves.

“The maximum is 60,000, that’s what’s been provided in Tokyo, that’s what London provided,” Coates said, according to the Brisbane Times newspaper.

“And that could be a stadium that could reduce to a lesser amount afterwards, depending on what the legacy is going to be – no requirement for 80,000.”

Brisbane currently boasts the 52,500-seat Suncorp Stadium but, when asked if Queensland could use an existing venue as the main hub of the Games, Coates said “there isn’t a stadium, to my mind”.

He added: “I think there’ll be something developed for athletics and the ceremonies, there is an option with the (42,000-seat) Gabba (pictured). But probably, I think, a new stadium has to be prepared, but similar to the way that it was done with London, it could reduce to something afterwards. The days of 80,000, the days of 115,000 for Sydney is not required.”

So far, India and Indonesia have expressed an interest in hosting the 2032 Olympics, while North and South Korea are considering an historic joint bid.

Image: Queensland.com